Navy's Jess Palacio
Feb. 14, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — It was one last chance to tune up for the 2012 Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Championships and several athletes took advantage of it with IC4A and ECAC qualifying performances.
Bucknell senior thrower Tom Barr and Navy senior distance runner Jess Palacio continued to add to their weekly award records, as teams prepared for the Patriot League Championships that will begin at noon Friday and go through Sunday at Gerhard Fieldhouse on the campus of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa.
Palacio won her fifth Female Track Athlete of the Week award of the season, setting a new single-season Patriot League record. She also extended the Patriot League career record to nine.
Barr won the Male Field Athlete of the Week award for the sixth time this season, setting a new League single-season record after posting another pair of IC4A-qualifying performances in the shot put and the weight throw.
Lafayette’s Chris Parker won his first weekly award, being named the Male Track Athlete of the Week after posting an IC4A time of 1:52.46 in the 800 at the Lafayette/Rider Invite.
The other three weekly awards were earned by athletes competing at the Lafayette/Rider Invite, as well.
Lehigh’s E’Lana Lemon won her fourth Female Field Athlete of the Week award and eighth of her career after posting an ECAC distance in the weight throw (56-6).
Army swept the Rookie of the Week awards, with Clyde Wilson recording an IC4A time in the 800 (1:54.62) and Jennifer Comfort finishing first in the 1,000 with an ECAC time of 2:55.14.
Patriot League Notebook
USTFCCCA RELEASES REGION POLL
The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association released its most recent region poll Tuesday, Feb. 14, with three Patriot League men’s teams and one women’s team cracking the top 15 in their respective regions. The Navy men pulled in the highest ranking, placing eighth in the Mid-Atlantic Region poll with 143.49 points. Bucknell is ninth (113.64) and Lehigh is 11th (79.14).
On the women’s side, Navy is ranked 14th in the Mid-Atlantic Region with 62.13 points.
The regional team index uses data provided by Track & Field Results Reporting System (TFRRS) for only the 2012 indoor season and is a reflection of a team’s all-around strength. The regional team index is scored using the current national-team ranking formula as if there were separate regional championships across the country.
PALACIO ON A ROLL
Navy senior distance runner Jess Palacio has had a strong career for the Mids, winning several Patriot League honors.
She most recently won the individual title in cross country, and has been named an Outstanding Track Athlete of the Meet three times in her career, including twice last season at both the indoor and outdoor championships. She also earned the award at the 2010 outdoor meet.
She can make it four straight at this year’s championship if she continues to run like she has all season.
Palacio has now been the top collegiate finisher in 21 of her last 22 individual indoor races.
She added a pair of first-place finishes at the Army-Navy Star Meet on Feb. 4, winning the 1,000 and the mile. She also placed second in the 3,000, helping Navy beat Army 112.5-68.5. She also placed first in the mile (4:40.27) among collegians at the Boston University Valentine Invite on Saturday.
Palacio also has a chance to make the NCAA Championships if she remains in the top 14 in the nation in the mile. Her mile time of 4:38.43 at the Navy Women’s Classic on Jan. 28 places her 14th in the nation. Palacio, whose time was just 1.43 seconds off the NCAA automatic qualifying standard of 4:37.00, will have to either meet the standard or stay in the top 14 to become just the fifth female student-athlete from the Patriot League to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
RAISING THE BARR
Bucknell senior Tom Barr has had a big season in the field for the Bison and looks to keep it going as the Patriot League Championships are less than two weeks away.
The Bison, who swept the men’s and women’s titles during the 2011 outdoor season, will host the indoor championship from Feb. 17-19. Bucknell has not won the men’s indoor championship since 1993 when the Bison wrapped up their third straight title. Since then, it’s been a back-and-forth battle between Army and Navy.
The Mids won last season, but Barr said he’s hoping the Bison can use the momentum from the outdoor titles to defend their home track.
Barr will be a big part of that as he has had several IC4A performances in the shot put and weight throw this season. He set a new single-season record with six weekly awards after posting multiple IC4A performances in the shot put and the weight throw. His best in the shot put was a distance of 54-11¼ and his top distance in the weight throw was 63-9½. He was the 2011 individual champion in the shot put last season and he finished fourth in the weight throw.
Patriot League Indoor Track and Field Weekly Awards
MALE TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
CHRIS PARKER, LAFAYETTE Jr., Neenah, Wis.
Parker finished sixth in the 800 with an IC4A time of 1:52.46 at the Lafayette/Rider Invitational Saturday. His time was the second-best time in the 800 in Lafayette history. This is his first Patriot League weekly award.
FEMALE TRACK ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
JESS PALACIO, NAVY Sr., Sun Valley, Nev.
Palacio finished third overall and first among collegiate athletes in the mile at the Boston University Valentine Invitational. She finished with an ECAC time of 4:40.27. She wins the weekly award for a Patriot League single-season record fifth time, and it adds to her League career record (9).
MALE FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
TOM BARR, BUCKNELL Sr., Ambler, Pa.
Barr placed first in the shot put (53-7¾) and second in the weight throw (57-11) at the Bucknell Winter Classic, qualifying for the IC4A Championships in both. Barr wins the weekly award for the sixth time this season, adding to his single-season Patriot League record.
FEMALE FIELD ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
E’LANA LEMON, LEHIGH Jr., West Orange, N.J.
Lemon placed first in the weight throw at the Lafayette/Rider Invitational, recording an ECAC distance of 56-6. She wins the award for the fourth time this season and the eighth time in her career. She’ll have a chance next season as a senior to match or break the career record of 12.
MALE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
CLYDE WILSON, ARMY Fr., Rutland, Mass.
Wilson finished ninth in the 800 at the Lafayette/Rider Invitational, posting an IC4A time of 1:54.62, which ranks seventh among Patriot Leaguers this season and No. 1 among freshmen.
FEMALE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
JENNIFER COMFORT, ARMY Fr., Doylestown, Pa.
Comfort wins her first and Army’s fifth Rookie of the Week award this season, placing first in the 1,000 at the Lafayette/Rider Invitational with an ECAC time of 2:55.14
EMILY ANDO, BUCKNELL So., Weston, Conn.
Ando placed first in the pole vault at the Bucknell Winter Classic with an ECAC height of 11-9¾.
ELISE BUFFINTON, LAFAYETTE So., Lewisburg, Pa.
Buffinton finished first in the pole vault at the Lafayette/Rider Invitational with an ECAC height of 11-9¾.
JESSICA KENDZOR, LEHIGH So., Somers, N.Y.
Kendzor finished first in the 800 at the Lafayette/Rider Invitational with an ECAC time of 2:12.80.
SAVANNA PLOMBON, LEHIGH Fr., Frederick, Md.
Plombon placed first in the mile run at the Lafayette/Rider Invitational with an ECAC time of 4:58.20.
PAUL NEIDHARDT, NAVY Sr., Lawrenceville, Ga
Neidhardt finished first in the pole vault at the Tiger Paw Invitational with an IC4A height of 16-0¾.